(photo credit: )
As expected, Ra'anana and Lions Lod both advanced to the ICA Cup final which will be played in Ashdod on Friday. Lions have had the better of every encounter between the teams in recent years, but with Ra'anana playing good cricket in recent weeks, the game has potential to be a classic.
In the first of the semi finals played at Hadar Yosef on Friday, Dimona C were restricted to just 128 for 7 in their 35 overs, with Steven Shein (3 for 14) the pick of the bowlers. Rafi Zauer (58*) and Reuven Bergman (52*) both played well as Ra'anana strolled to their target to win by 10 wickets. Eilat did extremely well to win their group and qualify for their first semi final, but had the misfortune to come up against Lions Lod, a team whose losses over the last decade could probably be counted on one hand.
Playing in Dimona, Lod amassed 319 for 7 in their 35 overs, with almost every batsman contributing. Shailesh Bangerra (68*) and Yefet Nagavkar (59) both scored half centuries, with Anim Solomon (45), Shalom Rubin (38) and Eshkol Solomon (35) all amongst the runs. Peter DeSouza took 4 for 53 for the hosts.
In reply, Rimon Nigorkar (55) and Samson Borgarkar (50) helped Eilat to 231 for 8, a respectable performance but not quite enough, as Lod won by 88 runs.
Lions will be hot favorites going into the final, having won every game between the teams in recent memory.
The game is experience vs youth, with the Ra'anana team including 6 players from the Israel U19 team, while Lod is a solid and experienced unit.